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Feds Launch Outreach Program to Educate Public About Sharing the Road with Commercial Motor Vehicles

Sharing the highways with large vehicles can be very stressful because drivers are aware that a crash between a passenger vehicle and a CMV will produce devastating results. CMV's are increasing in number along with the inherent hazards of sharing the road. To address these issues the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has launched an outreach program called "Our Roads, Our Safety" to educate passenger vehicle drivers about driving safely around large trucks and buses. Understanding the limitations that these drivers face is the first step.

Large commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are sharing most U.S. roads and highways with smaller passenger vehicles. Trucks are transporting virtually every product that is manufactured in the US or shipped from abroad. Buses transport people to work, to school, to events and on trips both locally and long distance. Common Carriers are an essential entity. Without CMV's the U.S would come to an economic halt.

Here are some of the tips the FMCSA has suggested to make sharing the road with CMV's safer:

· Avoid blind spots. CMV's, especially tractor-trailers, have several huge blind spots in the front, back and sides of the vehicle. If you can't see the driver in the trucks side view mirror, assume that the driver can't see you. Do not drive in a blind spot. If you find yourself beside a large truck, slow down or move up until you are visible to the driver.

· Pass Safely. Before attempting to pass, be sure the driver of the CMV can see you. Signal clearly and move to the left lane, accelerating to move past the truck safely and quickly. Do not remain in the blind spot for any length of time. Before you pull back into the right lane. be sure the truck is squarely in your rear view mirror and a safe distance back. Never pass a truck on the right or cut closely in front.

· Give the truck the lane. If a truck is passing you, slow down and let the truck past as soon as possible. Truckers at will appreciate a quick flash of your high beams to let them know they have room to pull back into the lane. Do this when a truck is trying to merge in front of you also. It is hard for truckers to judge the space between the end of their trailer and your vehicle.

· Avoid Cutting In. Never cut in front of a truck from another lane. The chances are good that the driver may not see you in a blind spot until it is too late. Trucks and buses take as much as twice the distance to stop as smaller vehicles. At 60 mph that distance is the length of a football field.

· Back Off. It is very dangerous to drive close behind a CMV. You in a blind spot and if you fail to stop in time, or you are struck from behind, your vehicle could slide beneath the truck. If the truck stops, particularly on a hill, it could roll back and crush you.

· Expect Wide Turns. Leave a truck the extra turning room they require. They may require turning right from the center lane to clear the corner. Stay away from the side of a slowed truck with its turn signal on. A tractor pulling a 40-foot trailer requires a 55-foot turning radius.

· Be Patient. Trucks and buses have operating limits and restrictions. Driving aggressively, honking or weaving through traffic won't help and it may create a dangerous distraction.

There are common sense safety habits required in all driving situations. Do not drive distracted by anything, especially hand held electronics, do not drive fatigued and never drink alcohol or take drugs and drive. Not only are these unlawful they are dangerous to other drivers, your passengers and you.

By following these recommended guidelines, you will help make our roads and highways safer.

Vititoe Law Group is a California personal injury law firm dedicated to making our highways a safer place. California ranks first in the nation for fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles. Vititoe Law Group has represented countless victims of crashes involving CMV's. If you or a loved one were injured or you lost someone in a crash, call today at 818-851-1886 for a free consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney.

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